I’m delighted to be part of the launch celebrations for Tara Lyon’s debut novel In the Shadows which was published on 17th March 2016. Not only do I have a guest post from Tara, all about the power of the mind, but you also have the opportunity to enter to win a copy of In the Shadows at the bottom of this post.
In the Shadows
In the Shadows is the debut crime/psychological thriller novel from Tara Lyons.
Detective Inspector Denis Hamilton is tasked with apprehending a brutal murderer stalking the streets of London – and leaving not a shred of DNA evidence. As the suspect list mounts, his frustration and pressure from his superiors intensify.
Grace Murphy, who is dealing with the recent loss of her beloved grandfather, falls deeper into despair when her friends’ bodies are discovered. Fearing she might be the killer’s next target, she begins to question if her horrifying nightmares are the key to unravelling the murderer’s identity.
How far would you go to uncover the truth? Would you venture into the shadows to unmask a killer?
An Intricate Mind
A Guest Post from Tara Lyons
The mind is a curious thing, never resting, even when our bodies do. Imagine what you could uncover were you to delve into the minds of some. To find out why a person reacts the way they do, why they choose certain paths during their lives and their reasons for interacting with certain people causing a variety of different relationships.
The unconscious mind is just as fascinating, more so even. Most people have created a technique for pushing certain thoughts, feelings and memories to a place in our mind we don’t tap into on a daily basis. But are they really forced away, or are we just clouding our thoughts only to be faced with them, or a representation of them at least, in our dreams?
Dreams will be viewed differently from person to person. Some may believe that these visions are purely figments of an overactive imagination. While you’re in a deep slumber, your mind conjures up a variety of things you have seen and heard in your waking state and fuses them together, almost like telling you a fictional story. Others will look into their dreams in great detail, trusting that they carry with them answers to the questions they seek about their lives, their personal choices and their futures.
An old colleague I used to work with, let’s call him John, got in touch with me a few weeks ago via Facebook Messenger. We haven’t seen, or probably spoken, to each other for at least two years. I had posted a memorial poem on Facebook to mark the anniversary of my grandfather’s death and John got in touch after seeing it. He explained that the poem had touched deeply because his mum had passed away just a few days before. Sadly, John’s mother had lost her battle with cancer, just as my grandfather had the year before. We exchanged condolences and promised to meet up soon.
That brief interaction stayed with me however because a few nights later I dreamt of John. When I woke up the details faded, as they seem to do the morning after – it’s as though your mind doesn’t want you to recall what it shared with you while you were asleep. But what my waking-self did hang on to was an image of John and I holding hands while roaming round a derelict building.
Again I’m sure people will interpret this dream in many different ways. John was on my mind and therefore I’ve assumed the man in my dream is him (I can never actually see faces clearly in my dreams – is that a personal thing, or does it happen to you too?). Some may say the hand holding is a supressed love interest, be it towards John or men in general. It could be that I’m feeling alone as well as lonely and the deserted atmosphere represents that. And all those assumptions could be correct. But that’s the beauty of the mind.
Your mind, and the dreams it conjures, almost plays a trick on you. Because now it has you questioning yourself and probing what your subconscious is telling you. Forcing you to make sense of images that may mean nothing more than a chance meeting with an old friend, a conversation with a stranger on the bus, or an old favourite song that sparks a memory you’d long forgotten.
Personally, looking into the meanings of dreams is something I enjoy. I regularly use the online search engines to find out what it means if I’ve dreamt of a cat in my house (I don’t have any animals) or if I’m boarding a plane (something I haven’t done for two years). I’m fascinated about what my mind is trying to convey while my body is rest mode. However, with this dream I didn’t feel the need to research, I interrupted it myself.
Two people, wrapped in grief, came together and wandered around their empty homes together, looking for strength to move forward. When it comes to grieving – and I’m awake – I am not a hand-holding, touchy-feely person. So perhaps this was my way of telling myself it’s okay not to be strong all the time, even when it’s been years since you’ve lost a loved one, because there are people out there facing the same heartache every day.
Amazing what the mind will have you believing. Perhaps it wouldn’t hurt to take some advice from the great Professor Dumbledore: “It does not do well to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” (J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone).
If international readers would like to enter to win an ecopy of In the Shadows, please click here. UK readers also have the opportunity to enter to win a signed paperback copy. The draw is open until UK midnight on 31st March 2016.
You can find out more about Tara and In the Shadows with these other bloggers: